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Hail Call Keith G..............

3524 Views 24 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  badbullgator
Keith serious question for ya since you are Guru on AKC rules...........

I presently have training with me a 5 1/2 month BLM who's owner/handler is blind. The pup has been CC to here, sits (vioce and whistle), and is in the process of learning heel. Pup is doing single land marks in low cover out to 80-90 yds and water marks to 60 yards.
Along with with wearing his e-collar he also wears a thin collar with a small bell on it. This is so the handler can tell when he is returning with the mark and he is learning a frontal sit for delivery of the bird and then moves to the heel position.
Pup and handler are doing quite well.
The handler I might add hunts pheasant, bow hunts for deer and shoots trap quite well. Amazing accomplishments considering she is blind.
To her accomplishments she plans on running AKC & NFRA HTs.

My question is this, as I don't necessarily see it as a problem in Junior but Senior will be a different story.
The pup wears a bell to help the handler know his location especially on returning with a mark for delivery purposes.
How will this be addressed as far as the AKC is concerned?
Should this be only a concern at the FTC and Judges level of a Stake?
Should this be addressed before entering a HT with the sponsoring club?

Senior will be a whole different story as no collar are allowed on the dawgs.
Her husband normally stands behind her and will be giving her guidance on mark locations. Will this be permitted because now we're talking about doubles? How about the bell issue, will the dawg be allowed to wear it?
How about accidently touching the dawg to take the bird?
Blinds will be a different story also................though she will be doing the handling.......her husband will have to tell her when to blow the whistle.....will this be allowed?

Believe me Keith, this has kept me on my toes as a trainer..........but the handler is determine to put a MH on the pup in the future and plans on running Junior next I thought I'd ask now...

I appreciate your thoughts on the matter.............
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Jeff makes a good point. :!:

Copy and paste the above scenario to [email protected]. Personally, I would have no problem with the collar with the bell on it or her husband "coaching" her from behind the line....but that's just me.

She's without the most important of the 5 senses IMHO....cutting her (and the dog) a break under that circumstance alone will allow the AKC HT program to be inclusive.

JMHO as always. :wink:

And's next weekend I'll be judging....and the Chattanooga trial is the weekend after that....but thanks for the good thoughts!

Sometimes a not-so-good training week results in very good following weekend....hope this is one of those for you!

Dan et al,

I got a phone call from Bill Speck last night. He had just read this thread.

He told me that if your client wants to run AKC events, it's up to the event committee and test judges to determine whether or not a belled collar and a behind-the-line coach are acceptable. He told me that he felt that the majority of clubs would do their best to support any handler (within reason) trying to run their event, regardless of their disability.

He also suggested that your client take it a step further and contact the legal department of AKC and ask for the paperwork necessary to get a variance in procedure to run retriever HTs based on her rights per the ADA. It is my understanding that the paperwork must be filled out by her doctor then be submitted back to the AKC for approval. Based on her handicap, a formal decision would be made with regard to the AKC's stand on her participation.

So there you go. Were it me, I'd do both: I'd work through the AKC process via the ADA and get formal "approval," and I'd also contact the event chairperson for any tests she wants to run and give them a "heads up" on her situation before she enters. As was discussed here previously, I don't see any club or judges precluding her from running....but getting the variance would pretty much seal the deal for the rest of her life.

Let me know if I can be of any further help.

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My pleasure, Dan! :D

Please make sure to post up some pictures of this handler/dog team! I gotta feeling we're going to have some accomplishments to celebrate!

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